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San Francisco officials launch investigation after alleged bribery case

San Francisco City Hall seen from a distance.
Mayor London Breed and other city officials have launched an investigation into a community grant program at the center of a City Hall bribery case. | Source: Jesse Rogala/The Standard

San Francisco officials have launched a review of the grant program at the center of an alleged bribery scheme that came to light this week, suspended the woman in charge of that program and barred the man who allegedly paid those bribes from doing business with the city. 

The city’s actions were announced Friday by Mayor London Breed, the city attorney and a number of other officials—all of whom condemned the alleged bribery scheme for undermining public trust in government. 

“There is no tolerance for the misuse of public funds for personal gain anywhere in our government,” said City Administrator Carmen Chu as part of a joint statement by city leaders. “Even while the investigation is ongoing, we must act swiftly to review internal processes and ensure accountability.”

A person in a red blouse is opening a glass door, with another person peeking from behind a yellow door.
Lanita Henriquez walks out of the courtroom after pleading not guilty at the Hall of Justice in San Francisco on Thursday. | Source: Jonah Owen Lamb/The Standard

Friday’s announcement comes after the arrests of Rudolph Dwayne Jones and Lanita Henriquez, who face numerous felony charges for their part in the alleged bribery plot, which prosecutors say involved Henriquez funneling contracts to Jones in exchange for roughly $190,000 from 2016 to 2020.

Henriquez has been suspended as director of San Francisco’s Community Challenge Grant Program, and the grants issued under her leadership will be reviewed by the Controller’s Office as part of an effort to root out suspected illegal practices.

The city attorney and controller will head up the review of the Community Challenge Grant Program and its procedures, and plan to make their findings public.

“Well-intentioned programs only work when robust controls and vetting processes are in place and properly monitored,” said Controller Ben Rosenfield.

Court documents showed that city administrator officials knew of the pair’s past romantic relationship and had questions about Jones’ bookkeeping. 

Meanwhile, the city has begun the process to bar Jones and any businesses and nonprofits associated with him from doing business with the city. 

A man walks into a courtroom.
Rudolph Dwayne Jones heads to court in the Hall of Justice in San Francisco on Friday. | Source: Jonah Owen Lamb/The Standard

The names of the entities affiliated with Jones that could be blocked from doing business with the city have yet to be made public. But court documents in his case list a number of entities that he either ran or had links to, though it is unclear which, if any of them, would be barred from working with the city.

Two of Jones’ private businesses—RDJ Enterprises and Project Complete—were named in court filings as was a nonprofit he controls, Southeast Consortium for Equitable Partnerships. That nonprofit acted as a fiscal sponsor on nine of the contracts that Jones was awarded. Another nonprofit, A. Philip Randolph Institute, which is a civil rights organization, was the fiscal sponsor for 13 of the contracts Jones received as a result of the bribes paid to Henriquez, court documents allege.

Fiscal sponsors, which are required for neighborhood improvement projects funded via the program Henriquez ran, are typically paid a fee for their sponsorship. This process was abused by Jones and Henriquez, who inflated then split the fiscal sponsor fee his nonprofit collected, according to court documents. 

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who filed the charges against Jones and Henriquez, said at a press conference Thursday that there was no indication A. Philip Randolph Institute was implicated in any wrongdoing. 

The institute did not respond to a request for comment. 

Jones appeared in court Friday but did not enter a plea. Henriquez pleaded not guilty on Thursday.

Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at